New Evacuations Ordered for Station Fire

September 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new mandatory evacuation order has been issued early Thursday due to the massive Station Fire.        |   Watch Video Above for More Information on this Story   |

Officials are asking residents in 15 to 20 homes in the Dillon Divide, Pacoima Creek area to clear out by 7 a.m.. Residents are asked to check in at an evacuation center set up at Golden Valley High School, 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway, Santa Clarita.

Fire officials said blaze just flared up in the area between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

"The fire was very active there last night, and operations just called for that evacuation in the last hour," said Capt. Mark Savage from the L.A. County Fire Department.

Cal Fire Capt. Scott Visyak said they are also seeing extreme fire behavior in the Devil's Canyon area.

Overall they've made good progress on the fire. The fire has grown to 144,000 acres, but the containment level is up to 38 percent.

Officials said the majority of the foothill areas are not threatened. Firefighters are crediting the good weather conditions, with higher humidity levels and light winds.

"We had a very good night last night, but we're cautiously optimistic," Savage said.

The fire on Thursday is burning in steep, rugged, inaccessible terrain in the San Gabriel Wilderness area.

The latest on the fire is as follows:

  • 144,000 acres
  • 38 percent contained
  • 64 homes destroyed
  • 27 outbuildings destroyed (including garages, sheds, gazebos)
  • 3 commercial buildings destroyed
  • 6 homes damaged
  • 5 outbuildings damaged
  • 10,000 homes still threatened
  • Cause of fire under investigation
Three U.S. Forest Service investigators gathered near Angeles Crest Highway Wednesday afternoon, at the spot where officials believe the Station Fire started back on August 26.

Three command-level sources told Eyewitness News reporter John North that the fire is believed to be human-caused because there was no lightning in the area, but not necessarily intentionally set. Possible human causes include arson, kids playing with matches, a thrown cigarette butt, sparks from heavy equipment in the area and an unattended camp fire.

The sources close to the investigation said it may be related to Forest Service personnel in the area.

However, the U.S. Forest Service quickly downplayed the reports, saying the investigation remains open.

"The cause of the fire has not been specifically determined at this point. All possible causes, including human causes, are being evaluated," said U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Jody Noiron.

There are more than 4,100 firefighters currently battling the blaze.

Crews are making progress on protecting Mount Wilson, home to TV towers and the observatory, but it remains threatened.

Fire officials met with community members in Wrightwood and Pasadena Wednesday night to discuss the current fire situation and possible actions as the firefighting effort continues.

The Station Fire broke out August 26 and is now the largest fire in L.A. County history. The expected containment date is September 15.

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